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February 14, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-02-14

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4

OPINION

. Page 4

Friday, February 14, 1986

The Michigan Daily

4

1be 31chtigan aill
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Corruption can't harm sport

Vol. XCVI, No.96

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board

Share the work

A recent congressional study
shows that of the 11.5 million
:workers who lost their jobs because
of plant closings between the years
1979 and 1984 only 60 percent got
new jobs during that period. Of
those who were able to find jobs, 45
percent of them took pay cuts. As
low-paying service sector em-
ployment continues to replace
more highly paid jobs in the in-
dustrial sector it is apparent that a
restructuring of the work force is
needed in order to deal with the
problems of displaced and long-
term unemployed workers.
Although the national unem-
ployement rate has decreased
fairly steadily for the past three
years the benefits of this decrease
-were not felt proportionately by the
minority communities. Also, of-
ficial unemployment statistics do
not count "discouraged" workers
who have been unemployed for
such a long time that they have
given up the job search. It is likely
that many of the 40 percent of plant
shut-down victims who were
unable to find work fall into this
category.
Although retraining programs
certainly need to be improved, both
in terms of quality and funding, a
significant dent in real unem-
ployment will only be achieved
when more jobs are created. Fred
Best, in his book Work Sharing,
shows that reduced workweeks,
higher overtime premiums, and
voluntary time-income tradeoff
significantly increase the number
of jobs in the economy while im-
proving the quality of life for many
workers.
For example, Best shows that a
ten percent cut in the workweek,
about 4 hours, would create bet-

ween one and two and a half million
jobs with job creation increasing
proportionally if the workweek is
cut to 32 hours. A double time
premium on overtime would create
about 900,000 jobs by making it
economically feasible to hire more
workers rather than having the
current ones work overtime. Best
also recommends paying workers
who have their hours reduced a
percentage of the unemployed in-
surance they would receive if
unemployed.
A voluntary time-income
tradeoff would allow workers to
have more paid vacation time if
they agree to a proportional per-
cent decrease in their hourly wage.
This plain would have the advan-
tage of both allowing workers who
need more money the freedom to
work and giving more leisure time
to those who desire it. The em-
ployment effect of this depends on
the willingness of workers to take
part. For example, the plan was
successful for the Santa Clara, Ca.
county government, which avoided
laying off workers after a budget
cutback when 17 percent of the
workers agreed to exchange more
vacation time for lower wages.
Obviously, a variety of
programs and policies are needed
to combat unemployment. Work
sharing should be a major com-
ponent of a long-term strategy to
eradicate ,unemployment because
it creates new jobs in areas where
workers currently work full-time,
mainly non-service sector areas.
Along with job training and strong
affirmative action (in hiring) en-
forcement, work sharing can
significantly improve the lives of
both currently unemployed and
employed workers.

By Michael J. Dunne
One can hardly open the sports page these
days without reading editorials about
college and pro athletes ruining our
favorites games. First, it was skyrocketing
salaries that threatened to cripple sports. A
short time later, the discovery of the
proliferation of drugs among our most
revered sports figures only reinforced ideas
that sport was soon to be on its knees. Quite
recently, a college sexual assault scandal
left little room for doubt about the future of
sport in our country. Sports fans across the
nation are beginning to reread foreboding
editorials about the dark future of sport and
imagine the miserable possibility of a future
without sport. A small minority of thinkers,
though, disagree and believe that the essen-
ce of sport-an essence immune from tam-
pering-has escaped those who cover the
"action."
Like power, love, or economics, sports is a
constant and eternal entity that can neither
be destroyed nor created. The inability to
distinguish between big business and sport
has led popular opinion-which never seems
to get a fair shake-to believe that the
foolish behavior of an assortment of in-
dividuals can have a disastrous effect on
Michael J. Dunne will be a regular con-
tributor to the Opinion Page.

sport. Nations today are willing to destroy
each other to show to what length they are
willing to go in order to maintain power.
Everyone knows, though, that power is an
entity that existed in the past, exists now,
and will exist in the future. In a word, it is a
fleeting and any attempt to capture and
maintain power is fool's play. In the same
way, it would be a gross underestimation of
sport to consider it vulnerable to man's ac-
tions. Instead, it would be sensible to
separate sport from the corruption that has
shaken the foundations of one of the largest
and most powerful industries in the U.S.
While sport remains untouched by the
corruption that pervades college and
professional athletic industries, university
presidents, television enterprises, stadium
owners and mindless fans (like those in-
volved in the tragedy in Belgium last year),
are much less fortunate. For they are faced
with the ugly reality that their livelihood is
not sport but parasitism. As everyone
knows, parasites eventually exhaust (often
unknowingly) the source upon which they
depend for their existence or the source
manages to rid itself of the pest. The
parasites that have depended on the mon-
strous athletic industry realize that a
similar fate is inevitable and are naturally
ready to panic.
The actions of school presidents, the
media and trickle down beneficiaries of
athlete factories are open to criticism but

still understandable. Each relies, in some
respect, on the financial success of athletic
programs to maintain a level of physical
comfort and security. The prevalent at-
titude among fans, however, is radically
more dangerous. Whether it's a student
body section at a Midwest college game or a
group of factory workers from a suburb of
Detroit at the Red Wing's game, the sym-
ptoms and its implications are the same.
Fans (etymological root: fanatics) rarely
turn out to see a game but rather to identify
themselves with a particular group of in-
dividuals on the playing field and set their
mood on the fortunes of "their team." What
is most ironic is that the members of "their"
team rarely know the fans personally. As a
result, fans obtain and build a sense of iden-
tity whose foundations are imaginary, at
best. Soon, these mindless masses see no
limit to the efforts they'll make in order to
see "their" team win.
"Sports fans" then, becomes an
oxymoron. The extremism of fanatics can
only hinder the state of mind that makes ap-
preciating the unique qualities of sport
possible. There is no crisis of sport, only a
crisis of conscience. It would be a foolish
mistake to contemplate the future of sport.
Sport will be. The question is: Can we
develop an objective mind to step beyond
the reproachable habit of creating images
and profits for ourselves through the deeds
of others?
Batter up!.

Chass
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There he goes again

President Reagan's new budget
plan would be almost laughable, if
its effect upon University students
and the nation weren't so drastic.
Reagan's past budget proposals
have shown his lack of respect for
our nation's education, and his 1987
budget is no different. It's almost
impossible to know where to begin.
Half a million students nationwide
would lose Pell grants. Pell grant
recipients would lose about $200 per
student here at Michigan.
And the bad news continues. 2500
University students would be
aggected by the proposed cuts in
work-study aid, so much for the
possibility of pulling oneself up by
one's bootstraps. In total, between
200 and 400 University students
would lose at least a portion of their
aid. The total financial loss would
be between $350,000 and $900,000.
But the proposed cuts display not
only a lack of concern for in-
dividual students and their
families, but something just as
alarming and possibly in the long-
un, more significant - an
ignorance concerning the skills
necessary in today's world to
acquire meaningful, satisfaction

sign of slowing down. Therefore,
what this country needs is
educated, technically literate
citizens.
The government relies on the
service and high-tech industries to
supply new jobs. While the service
industries - most notably the fast-
food and security areas - have
demonstrated an ability to absorb
thousands of new workers in the
last ten years, in no way can jobs in
this sector be considered either
productive or fulfilling.
As for the high-tech industry, at
least part of its ability to absorb
new workers depends upon in-
creased student achievement.
President Reagan, in charac-
teristic fashion, fails to com-
prehend the true situation,
preferring instead to offer rhetoric
about America's revival and the
necessity for staving off the Com-
munist menace.
So the sound out on the streets
are of thoughtful, caring citizens
muttering, "Here we go again."
Concerned members of Congress
face a battle against President
Reagan's imbecilic and insensitive
budget cuts in education.

LETTERS:

Writer didn 't read PIRGIM petition'

To the Daily:
I would like to respond to the
February 13 letter by Steve
Angelotti and Dan Baker and
comment on the PIRGIM petition
in general.
The aforementioned gen-
tlemen first addressed the actual
format of the PIRGIM petition.
Unfortunately, they obviously did
so without reading the petition it-
self. They have made three fun-
damental errors. First, they
claim that the funding system
that PIRGIM seeks is a
" 'negative' donation system."
This is false. PIRGIM is
petitioning for a refusable or
waivable fee. Mr. Angellotti's
and Mr. Baker's second
erroneous claim follows in the
next sentence: ". . . students
would be assessed a $2 PIRGIM
fee and would have to request a
refund." Once again this is false.
Students would have the option to
refuse the fee before it was ever
paid. Furthermore, if a student
did not waive the fee at
registration, s/he would then be
able to obtain a refund if so

I quote from the last sentence of
the petition which is set off by
double-spacing from the previous
sentence and highlighted by a
hyphen, "The PIRGIM fee should
be assessed to each student who
then has the option of not paying
by refusing or waiving the fee."
The petition has no fine print. On
the contrary, it quite lucidly and
boldly states its purpose. Most
unfortunately, these intelligent,
albeit misinformed, gentlemen,
have not read the very docment
which they assail.
In the next paragraph, the let-
ter comments on the PIRGIM
petitioners: ". . . we have noted
that the type of funding system is
the last thing PIRGIM people
want to discuss." This sweeping
generalization certainly does not
ally to petitioners that I have ob-
served. If any petitioner
inadequately discusses the mat-
ter, I will personally make
amends of any regrettable con-
sequences. In reference to the
displeasure of a petitioner's first
approach to a student ("Have
you signed the PIRGIM petition

sign. If you do have time cap-
proximately one minute), then
please do read the petition.
Despite the fact that you may
plan not to sign on advice from a
friend or colleague, I ask you to
simply read the petition. Make
your decision independently.
My last comments on the letter
in question concern the issue of
PIRGIM's financial resources. In
this area, I take personal offense.
I am perhaps more educated in
this area than any other student
in the state of Michigan. In the
realm of non-student citizen
membership, I have served as
Assistant Director, field
manager, and canvasser of
PIRGIM's citizen outreach
project. Concerning PIRGIM's
financial assets and liabilities, I
am also quite well-informed; I
presently hold the position of
Treasurer on PIRGIM's State
Board of Directors.
As one who possesses a great
deal of knowledge on the subject,
I can speak from authority. Mr.
Angelotti and Mr. Baker are

and student-funded organization..
'Otherwise, it would not be a
PIRG by .definition. Thus, this
provides the importance of the
petition drive.
In conclusion, I trust the
fallacious arguments of the
February 13 letter have been
revealed. For their edification, I
ask the letter's authors to read
the petition. Regardless of the out-
come of their final decision, that
decision will come from
knowledge and not bias. To the
student body, I ask them to also
read the petition. If the Univer-
sity of Michigan wants a PIRG
(Public Interest Research
Group) that provides educational
research and advocacy activities
in such areas as toxic waste
cleanup in Michigan and
women's safety on campus, then
it will be so. In sum, the future of
PIRGIM lies in the democratic
decision of the students of the
University of Michigan.

-Andrew J. Swensen
' February 13

AN

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